COPENHAGEN, July 18 Danish virtual currency exchange CCEDK is to start trading cryptocurrency NXT for real money such as dollars and euros, the first company to offer this service for the lesser-known cousin of the bitcoin.
A boom in bitcoin faltered when Mt. Gox, the world's best-known exchange for that currency, went bankrupt in February after it had lost nearly half a billion dollars-worth of the virtual coins due to hacking into its faulty computer system.
According to coinmarketcap.com, a website monitoring the values of cryptocurrencies, bitcoin's price peaked in November 2013 at $1100 but has since slumped to $622 per coin since the collapse of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox and as regulators discuss market scrutiny. It still has a market capitalisation of $8.1 billion however.
By contrast, NXT, the fourth largest cryptocurrency, has a market capitalisation of $45 million and is currently valued at 4.5 cents per virtual coin.
CCEDK, launched in May, will start trading in NXT on July 19 and is aiming for turnover on the exchange of $45,000 a day within six months, its boss said.
"I think it will be a very busy weekend for us," chief executive and co-founder of the Crypto Coins Exchange platform CCEDK, Ronny Boesing, said.
"There is a customer base of 20,000 active users in the NXT community, for whom we can offer something they haven't had access to before," he told Reuters.
China's ban of the use of bitcoins by financial institutions in December last year and the shutdown by the U.S. FBI of the 'Silk Road' online black market have further weighed on the bitcoin and the development of cryptocurrency markets.
FACTBOX on bitcoins
(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen and Sabina Zawadzki; Editing by Sophie Walker)